A Tomato Growing Venture #4: Ripe for the Picking.14:36:00
Thanks to my wonderful neighbour Norm and Pauline's watering efforts, the tomatoes are still alive and are growing beautifully.
Norm was even here every second day whilst we were away to make sure that they were watered and looked after and he even got to pick the first few ripened tomatoes of the season.
The few tomatoes that the kids have picked so far have also been delicious and they have been eating them like apples.
There hasn't been a lot happening on the maintenance front with these vines between this and the last venture post except for tying them up really and watching them grow.
However, now we are back I have managed to do a couple of tiny little jobs to help keep the vines healthy and to hopefully avoid the dreaded fruit fly.
The veggie patch was very overgrown with marshmallow weed and grass so I pulled all that out to reveal a great crop of basil, beans, and marigolds. This also freed up the abundance of Cosmos growing from some seeds Edie and I threw in not long before we went on holidays.
Most importantly, it also helped to clear space around and underneath the tomato vines.
For the purposes of this post I am going to assume that I have not got any fruit fly in the tomatoes as there hasn't been any evidence to prove otherwise. I was suppose to do a post to show you the traps I did set in November and continue to change every few weeks but didn't get around to it sorry. Pinterest is full of ideas and concoctions to use to trap and bait the flies and it is rather overwhelming to tell you the truth. To make it easy here, I just used a couple I purchased from our local nursery Green and Grow.
This particular trap is good to monitor what pests are around the patch so you can then apply your favourite management strategies. I havent noticed any fruit flies on this yet, though I do need to buy another one to hang here.
I have a trap like this hanging in the lemon tree by the fence. This is the actual trap that lures, traps and kills the flies. I am hopeful that they are going here and not to the tomatoes. The bait in this lasts for three months which will see out the season.
Im also using marigolds and basil as companion plants to help with all of the pest management in the veggie patch and I did spray some Yates pesticide a couple of weeks before we went away, to keep the earwigs in check. Though you do have to be careful with spraying if its not organic as you will need to wait for certain periods of time before the fruit can be eaten. Check the labels please!!
Fruit flies apparently love to lay low, so having all the overgrown weeds in the patch gone has now reduced their lovely hiding places to hang out until the tomatoes start to ripen.
Norm suggested that I still pick all the tomatoes, green and all that are growing around the bottom thirty centimetres or so of the vine. Apparently the flies will always get the fruit closest to the ground where they often hide amongst the leaves. I have the green tomatoes I picked in a bowl sitting on the bench and they are already starting to ripen.
He also suggested that I clear any low lying branches to keep it all nice and clear, which in turn prevents perfect humid conditions at the bottom of the vines and cover for the flies.
I introduced them to fresh tomato and basil on toast with a sprinkling of salt and they thought it was the bees knees.
I hope you are enjoying your garden wherever you are.
In summary, here are my five simple tips to help with your continued tomato growing venture:
1. Pick the tomatoes growing at the bottom of the vines and ripen them inside.
2. Keep tying the vines using a figure of eight tie. This helps to support the weight of all your juicy tomatoes.
3. Clear the space around the bottom of the vines, including the actual vine branches.
4. Keep an eye on your fruit fly traps and change them over when necessary.
5. Water, water and water.
Are you harvesting brilliant tomatoes right now.
Have I missed anything? Got any tips for me?
Thanks for visiting today
You can catch up on all the latest tomato growing here in the Paddock via the following links.